Fillmore Central teams still waiting for spring
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 10:59 AM
It's a new season, but spring sports athletes are still waiting to compete as the weather won't cooperate.
Fillmore Central/Lanesboro will have a new baseball coach this spring. Keith Larson, a 1981 Preston-Fountain grad, takes over from Ryan Scheevel, who guided the Falcons for four years. Larson, who inherits a team that finished 5-15 last year, returns six seniors, all with varsity experience: Devon Block (OF), Nick Ebner (P), Dan Gatzke (OF), Cody Hendrickson third), Cal Larson(first) and Jake Tammel (P).
In addition to the seniors, eight juniors will receive plenty of action and perhaps crack the starting lineup: Niko Anderson (IF), Garrett Boggs (second), Clayton Dierson (DH), Josh Jones (P), Andy Love (IF), Kirby O'Connor (P), Clay Olson (C) and Nick Powell (OF). Several sophomores are also listed on the roster and will help the team throughout the season: Kiel Larson, Nick Mensink, Will Semmen and Gatlin Woellert.
"Gatzke is a three-year starter and was invited to an elite camp last summer," said Larson, "while Ebner and Boggs have two years of varsity experience. We also have three pitchers in our starting rotation that all have varsity innings.
"We are looking forward to an exciting year with all our returning experience and plan on being one of the teams in the Three Rivers Conference to contend for the crown."
Last year's wins came against GMLOK (2), Rushford-Peterson, Dover-Eyota and St. Charles. FC/L lost to Rushford-Peterson, 5-2, in the first round of the playoffs. Kenyon-Wanamingo was the Section 1A champion last year and ended up going 0-2 at the state tournament.
The Falcons are scheduled to open the season at home on Monday, April 15, against Dover-Eyota.
Coach Tris Tollefson returns seven starters/letterwinners from a team that finished 7-14 last year, 4-9 in the Three Rivers Conference. Those players (positions/stats) include Kaitlynn Aug (sophomore, first base), Taylor Case (junior, third, .227), Steph Erickson (sophomore, SS, .200), Morgan Malley (sophomore, .259, P, 7-13, 122 K's, 33 BB, 3.79 ERA), Jordan O'Connor (senior, .408, 18 RBI, 29 hits, 10 extra base hits), Tori Peterson (junior, .233, second base) and Chelsea Rislove (senior). Rislove returns to the starting lineup after a one-year hiatus.
Other players listed on the FC/L roster are Taylor Sprenger (freshman), Lexi Lea (junior), Gabby Brazee (freshman), Shelby Ebner (freshman), Megan Hendrickson (freshman) and Nargiza Kanybek (senior).
"We are experienced in some positions," said Tollefson. "We have worked very hard at improving our hitting and we hope this weakness of last year will become a real strength this year. Our pitching should be very strong."
Morgan Malley was an all-conference pitcher last year. The South Division should be a real "dog fight between all of the teams, especially with the addition of Caledonia/Spring Grove," said the coach. Tollefson sees Chatfield and Houston as the teams to beat in the sub-section, with Blooming Prairie in the mix at the section level. "Our goal is to be right there fighting for the sub-section title," said Tollefson.
Chatfield knocked Fillmore Central/Lanesboro out of the playoffs last year, 13-7, in the first round. Chatfield lost to Blooming Prairie in the Section 1A championship game last year, with the Awesome Blossoms going on to capture second place at the 2012 state tournament.
The Falcons were scheduled to open the 2013 season against Caledonia/Spring Grove, Tuesday, April 9, but that was postponed. Friday the gals will travel to Mabel-Canton for a non-conference match-up with the Cougars.
Brad Holten returns as the boys golf coach for Fillmore Central, a team that was 6-2 in the TRC, and 10-3, overall. Returning for the new season are senior/captain Matt Guttormson and sophomore Jordan Miller.
Other leading candidates are Mike Walsh (12), Trevor Barnes (11), Ascher Ostrom (11), Garrett Barnes (10), Lee Dyreson (10), Nate Birch (9), Kurtis Hershberger (9), Dacoda Johnson (9), Alex Lange (9), Vaughan Schmidt (9), Connor Morem (8) and Will Nolan (8).
"We lost five all-conference players from last year's team," said Holten. "We will have a very new look, but still hope to be very competitive in the TRC. We have a very eager group, led by our captain Matt Guttormson," added Holten. "They are excited and ready to get outside. Many of them have played B squad or junior high golf for us, so they have some experience. Our golfers lack varsity experience and need to build consistency right away."
Holten sees Caledonia/Spring Grove and Rushford-Peterson as the teams to beat in the Three Rivers Conference.
The team is scheduled to host Lewiston-Altura Friday, April 12, for its season opener.
Lane Powell returns for his second year as the girls golf coach at Fillmore Central.
"We have three returning section qualifiers and the first full varsity/JV roster in several years," said Powell. "This type of inner competition will serve us well. Our goal is to make state as a team, but have heavy competition, as always, with Wabasha-Kellogg and Lewiston-Altura."
The three section qualifiers are Keeley Todd (junior) Katie Tammel (sophomore) and Laura Donney (freshman). Others looking to make the varsity squad are Haley Ostrom (freshman), Elayna Kiehne (eighth), Skyelar Veiseth (eighth), Kaitlyn Hansen (eighth), Grace Miller (seventh), Cailey Rindels (seventh), Rianna Ryan (seventh) and Payton Schwingle (seventh).
The team was scheduled to open the season this past Monday, April 8, against Houston. Next scheduled match is Friday, April 12, against Lewiston-Altura, in Harmony.